Back-to-School Freebies

Oh my goodness time is in that full-speed-ahead mode that it goes into during the last few days of summer break.

I've been working to try and get ahead a bit on common core. Our district isn't changing over until next school year, but I've been making the shift on our 1st grade things a little bit at a time so we are completely ready.

I revamped our writing rubrics so they are more fully aligned with common core. I really like using rubrics like this because it makes grading writing so much easier. I think writing is by far the most difficult thing to grade.

The rubrics are half-sheets (prints two to a page) so they can be easily attached to the top of the student's writing while allowing their writing to peak through if necessary.

We cover a whole lot of sight (high-frequency) words with our kiddos throughout the year. We work on 9 new words a week (with the class as a whole ... some kiddos need less... some kiddos just keep moving on). I put all 3 lists on the back of the kids' homework folders before I laminate them. This way they can go ahead if they've mastered the 9 of the week. And they can review previous words at any time. I made a new copy this year, because I was in need of a change of font. (It happens. A lot.) Memorizing high-frequency words is very important. It is a huge part of what takes a child from level 3 to 30 in one school year.

If you'd like the lists, click the picture below. The .pdf contains the page I put on the back of the homework folder and the individual lists for each trimester. I use these to assess the kids one-on-one.

Have you started planning yet? Please make sure you check out The Curriculum Year Planner and The Ultimate Weekly Planner. Every little bit we can do to make things easier and more organized is always a HUGE plus. Being able to customize things to suit your needs while using your own fabulous fonts and colors you love is just plain icing on the cake! :D
I worked in my classroom again today. I am going to try not to go back again until our first official work day on Thursday. A lot of what I have left to do I can do at home, so I should be able to pull it off. We get 2 paid days to get ready for class for the school year? How many do you get? How many do you NEED? Can you get it all done in 2 days?

 ❤I LoVe your comments!❤


  1. All the changes are crazy! We haven't officially started planning yet (we usually make a list of activities for the first week), but my teammate made a sweet document for Common Core that we'll use.

    Mrs. Wheeler’s First Grade
    Mrs. Wheeler TpT

  2. We get 1 paid HALF DAY. No joke. After 7 days of school with no recesses, my friend FINALLY broke down and sent a behavior problem to the office ( naughty all 7 days) and she got a note from admin. " we reviewed her cum. during lunch and you will find out a lot of info if you do the same. I'm sure you have assessed her by now and know her limitations. "

    Can you believe that? With a half day to prepare? And inside recesses?


  3. Thank you so much for the rubrics! They are amazing!!

  4. We have three days...but they fill them with fun things like full faculty meetings, elementary faculty meetings, department curriculum meetings and schoolwide committee meetings. And physicals. Leaving us about five minutes in our classrooms!

    Thanks for sharing the rubrics...scoring writing is my Achille's heel! I have to get something together for second grade before I go insane. With a model to look at I might be more inspired.

  5. MEETINGS, Meetings, meetings, oh MY!!! Thanks for sharing! Stop by and visit anytime! SMILES!

  6. loving the writing you keep these to "make their grades" or pick just one or two?
    as for our back to school?? we have a week of preplanning, but we have meetings every. one. of those only half of those days, but it's more than half, because after you have lunch, the day is mostly over already - ha!

  7. We get NO paid days before the students arrive. But we do get two of our PA days through the year for writing report cards... guess that's where the day we used to have before kids arrive in September & after they leave June 28 (this year) went!

    Of course, we are usually "welcome" to come in the last week or so before school starts, should we feel a need to plan anything, decorate anything, or unpack anything! :-)

    Tammy @ Teaching FSL

  8. Hi Traci
    So glad to be computer has been down. We used to have 2 days and this year they took them away and called them furlough days cuz they knew we would come in anyway. Can you believe that?!? And of course we did because we love kids! You are so good at organization things - like your year planners, etc. These look great. Way to get ahead. Hope your year is great.
    **I may be calling on your for reinforcements when I'm stressing over my 30 kids since you are now an expert. :o) **

    Traditions, Laughter and Happily Ever After

  9. I bought your weekly lesson planner, and I am loving it so far. Thanks for creating it!

  10. Hi Traci I really like your blog. I am homeschooling my son, and I am researching to find the standard common core/or curriculum for 1st graders for all subject areas such as mathematics, science, writing, reading, spelling, language arts, history, and arts. I would like to know if you would recommend me or suggest me books I may purchase to base the lessons. Or even websites would be quite helpful.

    I look forward to hearing from you.


Back To Top